The Disobedience Award is open to any living person or group who is or has engaged in acts of responsible, principled, ethical disobedience to authority, with the goal of benefitting society. It is a global award, open to all fields, such as science, politics, civics, law, journalism, medicine, human rights, and innovation. The award does not endorse acts of violence, terrorism, or reckless or dangerous behavior.
The key principle behind the award is positive social impact.
Media Lab Director Joi Ito on how the award came to be: “You don’t change the world by doing what you’re told. The American civil rights movement wouldn’t have happened without civil disobedience. India would not have achieved independence without the pacifist but firm disobedience of Gandhi and his followers. The Boston Tea Party, which we celebrate here in New England, was also quite disobedient.
There is a difficult line–sometimes obvious only in retrospect—between disobedience that helps society and disobedience that doesn’t. I’m not encouraging people to break the law or be disobedient just for the sake of being disobedient, but sometimes we have to go to first principles and consider whether the laws or rules are fair, and whether we should question them.
I like to think of the Media Lab as “disobedience robust.” The robustness of the model of the Lab is in part due to the way disobedience and disagreement exist and are manifested in a healthy, creative, and respectful way. I believe that being ‘disobedience robust’ is an essential element of any healthy democracy and of any open society that continues to self correct and innovate.”
This award will go to a person or group engaged in what we believe is an extraordinary example of disobedience for the benefit of society: work that impacts society in positive ways, and is consistent with a set of key principles, including nonviolence, creativity, courage, and responsibility for one’s actions
- Recipient must have taken personal/professional risk in order to affect positive change.
Just watched #WhiteRightMeetingTheEnemy on Netflix. @Deeyah_Khan disarms some of the most violent extremists by asking them simple, human questions. Her bravery and kindness is so inspiring. Face to face human connection is a powerful tool in combatting cultural divides.
Jeremy R (@JeremyRFLA) tweeted at 10:38 PM on Fri, Aug 10, 2018:
If you haven’t seen the documentary “White Right” by @Deeyah_Khan, you absolutely must. Above all, it shows that basic human interaction and decency has the power to change what appears to be a lost soul. Find someone that doesn’t look or think like you. Have a conversation.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/YGLvoices/status/1027891162370191360
Shafi Naqi Jamie (@ShafiNaqiJamie) tweeted at 5:50 AM – 18 Sep 2018 :
“Deeyah Khan, a Muslim woman of Pakistani and Afghan origin who was brought up in Norway, was visiting a far-right training encampment in America, where hundreds of men were sat drinking, with military-grade weapons by their side.”
@ShareThis https://t.co/mGqXnOHYiS (http://twitter.com/ShafiNaqiJamie/status/1042017912175960064?s=17)
Time and time again she hears the same story, one of abandonment, of not fitting in, a sense of hopelessness, shame and humiliation, of longing to belong..t
And she hears how when the men joined their hate group the story changed to one of feeling like a hero, having a sense of purpose, a feeling of belonging.
It’s the same story that permeates Khan’s previous film, Jihad, A Story of Others, for which she spent two years talking to Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadi.
“I was really struck by how there were so many similarities between the experiences and the type of people that I met both within the white supremacist movement, but also within the jihad movement as well,” says Khan. “It’s almost as if it’s the same guy, and it’s almost as if some of the deeper reasons are either the same or incredibly similar..t
2 needs & a cure (authenticity & attachment) deep enough to affect all of us .. today
“These movements satisfy the basic human needs that we all have, and obviously for very cynical reasons, because they’re wanting to build the sense of loyalty, the sense of brotherhood and camaraderie with these men, so that they can be directed towards whatever political aims the various movements have,” she says.
Ironically, while these are hate groups, Khan says their actions are driven by love– a love for the fellow members of the group that have given them a sense of family, a love for the leaders of the group that have given them a sense of purpose.
Khan believes it’s down to the “magic” of sitting down face to face. “Everything becomes real. Your words and the impact of your words. The weight of those words becomes real,” she says.
“Why are you nice to me?” she asks Ken at one point. “Because I respect you,” he replies. “I actually consider you my friend.” Despite making a recent journey throwing other flyers out of the window targeting Syrian refugees, Ken admits to Khan that she is the first Muslim he has ever met.
Is Ken her friend?
“Yes, absolutely,” asserts Khan. “He forced me to challenge my own prejudices against guys like that as well. I was able to see his humanity.”.. t
mufleh humanity law: we have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity – Luma Mufleh
begs a means/mech to listen to all the voices.. everyday..
as it could be
“This is a really hard thing for him to do,” she says. “He’s turning his back on his entire community. Now he really does need a friend because now he has none, he’s left them all behind based on a principle, based on these ideas that he no longer wants to subscribe to any more.”..t
This August, Ken is having his tattoos removed. Khan is flying over to be with him.
It sounds like the sort of thing a friend would do.
MIT Media Lab (@medialab) tweeted at 9:03 AM – 6 Dec 2018 :
We’re thrilled that #DisobedienceAward finalist Sarah Mardini has been released on bail after more than 100 days in pre-trial detention on charges related to her work rescuing refugees. People shouldn’t be prosecuted for saving lives.